Its the start of September, so you know what that means, silly season is about to begin! That time of year where the last few months remain in which home owners can get their new windows and doors installed before Christmas. Like it makes a difference really. We’re only really closed for a couple of weeks at the most!

Nevertheless, at our place we have already seen an marked uptick in activity last week, with leads and sales shooting north and extending our lead time.

That being said, this is not going to be a normal end to the year. Its all down to that B-word and politics.

Media hyperdrive

It truly kicked off in style today, following the announcement last week that the Government would shut down Parliament and reopen in mid-October with a new Queen’s Speech marking the start of a new Parliamentary term. It was dressed up to say that this was to simply start a new legislative timetable that was long overdue. In reality, it was an attempt to try to stop Tory rebels and opposition parties from stopping a no-deal Brexit being carried out by Boris Johnson. On Monday however, a day before Parliament was due to rise, we went from 2nd gear to 6th as MPs spelled out what they planned present to Parliament on Tuesday, which prompted a televised statement by the PM, and then confirmation that should the Government lose the vote tomorrow, that they would table a motion to launch a General Election the day after. All bets are for the snap poll to be on October 14th.

What does this mean for the industry? Well, uncertainty never brings out the spending in people, and if the Government does lose the vote in the Commons tomorrow, they will almost certainly call for a General Election. That’s not going to make things more certain in the short term. The polls do actually point to a decent Boris win, if we still believe opinion polls. So if there is one, and we end up with a Tory Government with a majority of some kind, then things may indeed become more certain to some degree. In the short term though, it may convince home owners to halt spending until they know the outcome of the vote. And this will be no ordinary General Election. It will be intense, covered heavily by the media 24/7, with mass speculation and hype from all sides. Obviously many of us won’t be keen on another vote, but its the most likely scenario at the time of writing. Things could go quiet for fenestration during these next six weeks.

Ironically, Labour MPs apparently don’t seem convinced that they want a General Election right now. Jeremy Corbyn has been banging that drum weekly since he took power. But, there has been a significant “Boris Bounce” in opinion polls, with many giving him double-digit leads over Corbyn and Labour. Given that, and Corbyn’s terrible public approval ratings, the party doesn’t seem sure that this is the right time to be going to the polls.

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Heads down now

Despite what is playing out on the TV, I still think September could be a busy month for UK fenestration, as the kids go back to school and parents focus on the house again after going on holiday and keeping their children entertained for six weeks. That usual rush will have started for many.

I’m not sure about October. If there is to be another election, this is going to slow things down on the business activity front. It always does. The fact its going to be near the end of the year though isn’t going to be helpful. Usually our industry just wants to get its head down at this stage and make the most of it so we can fill up our order books for the weeks and months ahead. There is going to be a big question mark over this now.

Its going to be a really bumpy end of the year for the window and door industry, and mostly down to factors well outside its control. This isn’t the skills crisis, or customer service problems putting a spanner in the works, but the fundamentals of how our country works and operates in the world. Sounds dramatic, but that is what we are dealing with. Its not going to be easy to avoid being caught up in the drama of it all, being glued to our screens watching it all unfold. But the best thing we can all do is to get to work, make sure our marketing works it’s way through to home owners and ensure that business activity flows. We all have our jobs to do, lets make sure we do them and do them well.

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